01 September, 2008


Just back from our Snowdonian adventure which was fantastic! Can't wait to go camping again. The first day the weather was pretty good and Little Sister and I climbed up the side of a mountain with the kids, leaving the men behind to cook dinner. It was lovely to see how much the kids enjoyed it, even the two hulking surly teenagers, who took off their shirts (why?) and raced to the top of the rocks, leading me to think that the best thing this society could do with male teenagers is to hale them all off to some kind of Spartan training camp where they can be turned into human beings and released back into society at the age of 24. Even Curly managed to make it up to nearly the top of the rocks, even though the side of the mountain was basically a vertical bog, covered in half a foot of moss that squelched streams of water with every step. Coming back down again we avoided the vertical bog by going through a field of bracken and rocks instead - drier but much more risk of ankle-turnage. The whole thing was basically like a living video game, both the rockclimbing and the mountainside traversing, filled with constant puzzles and questions and problem-solving.

The next day we climbed up the side of the higher mountain opposite and were very proud of ourselves because the slope was the kind where your nose is virtually scraping the side of the hill as you climb. As Larry said, each step is easy, but the whole thing is difficult - which it was, especially when you looked down and considered how very easy it would be just to fall down to the bottom of the mountain. Came back down the easy way - which we only spotted when we got to the top of the ridge. Some rain, but my new Chinese weatherproof parka was absolutely brilliant. Also took a sidetrip to Anglesey to visit the village church of the Tudors in Penmynydd, sleeping in a romantic green time-proof silence next to a very nice-looking hotel made out of the former vicarage, down a lane so remote from the village you wonder if they were trying to discourage people from going to church.

This morning it rained like there was no tomorrow, in spite of all our prayers/ entreaties/ human sacrifices to the goddess of rain and midges. So we packed up everything in record time and started the drive back - of course the sun immediately came out and Wales looked stunning as we left it. Sister and I decided to detour with the girls to Malvern for a trip down memory lane - played Enigma Variations on the way over the hills, as is only fit and proper, and had lunch in a very nice brasserie by the Priory - very reasonably priced, especially compared to the indifferent rip-off Welsh pub-food that we suffered in Betws-y-Coed.

Back home now in my nice clean dry bed and happily planning our next camping holiday. Hooray for camping!


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